Tuesday, 1 September 2015

New Writing of the Month for September ~ Discarded Beliefs

'I was on the coast, in the north where the sea stays cold throughout the summer yet the beaches have a light solid warmth that gives way slowly to climbing heights of grassland, tough sinuous plants and rolling moors and hills - the kind of places people never think to stop and wonder. I was barefoot on a northern beach that was windswept and rustic even in the height of summer but the sun was scarring my skin, dancing on it and rippling like stray sparks.

I was deep in conversation with the sea as it claimed my toes and ankles, soaked into my pores. Whispering a greeting, naming those that had died and those who had been born since we last met. How the world had changed - how I had changed in so many ways.  I repeated the same last words over and over as I walked … ‘but we are still here, but we are still here’. It etched a memory into me of the familiar feeling of sand underfoot pulling away as the waves crept back but an unfamiliar one of peace.

Walking past shells and driftwood all framed in dark grains of sand I stopped to pull something buried as it glinted at me like lost treasure. Rosary beads washed clean by the tide, dark shiny stones resonating with faith. Further along the beach I found a small faded statue of the Virgin Mary, her features almost worn smooth.  I couldn't leave them to the sea, I couldn’t stop myself working my fingers over the smooth surfaces still speaking the words ‘but we are still here’.

I was drawn to a large pebble covered in runes and a drawing of Odin rolling in the surf - how I knew it was him I will never know - did he tell me his name? A reminder of the North's Scandinavian past - this part of England is still haunted by Norse gods and retold stories

...the discarded beliefs of the Northerners are everywhere.'

Hello dear readers and hello September!

'Discarded Beliefs' was inspired by my trips to the coast this summer with Carl - we have mainly been to Scarborough which is no where near as 'deserted' as the flash fiction portrays :) 

Carl in Scarborough 
The train journey up the coast to Scarborough is very pretty and it had me imagining and writing this piece in my head. I also read a lot of historical fiction and when they mention the North of England they paint a picture of very hardened rough people, slow to trust and stubborn in their beliefs. I can't help but smile and wonder if in some way they are describing some of my ancestors - some lines on my family go back to 1500s in Yorkshire.

Happy Tuesday 

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